Here we go. After half a season on fast forward with some of the best episodes the show’s ever had, all the paths have come together for an all-out Rebel assault on the blockade of Lothal. However, it doesn’t quite go according to plan and things get pretty dark.
Let’s dive into our Five Thoughts on Star Wars: Rebels‘s “Rebel Assault.” Spoilers ahead.
I know I go on and on about Rebels finally becoming the show it was always meant to be and all that, but this was the moment I’ve genuinely been waiting entire seasons for. Seeing X-Wings in Rebels was such an elating moment and especially seeing the squadron being lead by Hera made the wait even more worth it. It was a moment that really cemented how far the show has come, how closely it’s rubbing shoulders with Rogue One and A New Hope and how much the concept of the Rebellion has evolved over the course of the show’s four seasons.
And, of course, it’s a showcase of just how cool X-Wings are. Which is, obviously, very.
2. Assault On Lothal
Something I love about this episode is how it built on the prior four episodes, culminating in the assault by Hera’s squadron of X-Wings on the blockade of Lothal and showcased their ability to outmanoeuvre and out-pilot the Empire… only to fail. There’s no grand victory here. The small strike force of Rebels don’t best the overwhelming Empire. Instead, they’re rightly overwhelmed and shot out of the sky and Kanan, Ezra, Zeb and Sabine are forced to watch burning trail of Hera’s X-Wing streak through Lothal night sky.
It’s sobering and that’s only the first half of the episode. It’s a reminder that wars aren’t cut and dry, that the suicide missions that these Rebel pilots fly out on don’t always blow up the Death Star. Sometimes they just get out flown and out shot by the TIE pilots they’re up against.
Sometimes that bad guys win.
3. Hera Captured
Speaking of the bad guys winning, way to end the mid-season finale of Rebels with the most downer ending possible, guys. Not that I’m neccessarily complaining, mind you, because I love me some good drama and this took some guts. Part of the reason I found Rebels pretty middling to begin with was how toothless it was in its drama. The dramatic beats only ever existed to serve some moral lesson to be learned by Ezra with no real, last consequences because in two episodes time Ezra’ll have to learn the same lesson. It’s the same kind of rinse and repeat, morals over drama storytelling that’s plagued media for younger audiences since G.I. Joe and the like.
With this season of Rebels, Lucasfilm seems to have remembered that they had a huge success with genuine drama in kid’s media in The Clone Wars and started to take risks again. Ending with Hera captured and separated from Kanan who is left to retreat with nothing but the guidance of Loth-wolves was a bold move and has me chomping at the bit for the rest of the season.
4. @Dave_Filoni, Explain These Goddamn Wolves
Bring. Back. Ahsoka.
5. Where From Here?
Looking back, the two trailers we saw for this season only showed clips from this half of the season. We have seen pretty much nothing from what’s to come in the New Year and while part of me is excited, the rest of me is… what’s the word for anticipation meets with unexplained apprehension? These are going to be the final episodes of Rebels and, at this point, I have no honest idea where the story is headed or where it could possibly end.
This show has a lord of cards still to play and many more up its sleeves and, knowing the people behind it, they’re not going to reveal anything before they need to. All I know is I want them to bring back Ahsoka.